While some countries seem to have been recovering well from Covid-19, recording fewer new infections, this is not the case globally. There has been a recent global spike in the number of Covid-19 cases.
The World Health Organisation said cases have increased by 8%, bringing the total to 3.6 million new cases. The death toll has seen an increase of 21%, meaning 54 000 new deaths have been recorded.
“This brings the cumulative numbers to over 49.7 million reported cases and over 1.2 million deaths globally since the start of the pandemic,” the organisation said.
Africa has recorded 34 000 new cases and 831 new deaths during the past week
“South Africa continues to report the highest number of new cases and deaths in the region, accounting for nearly a third of new cases and over half of the new deaths,” WHO said.
The organisation predicts that the number of Covid-19 cases in South Africa peaked in mid-July. During the winter season, there were more than 86 000 cases recorded on a weekly basis.
“By September, South Africa was reporting fewer than 15 000 cases per week, and in the past week, there were nearly 10 500 cases reported (176 new cases per million population).”
The number of deaths recorded in the country has decreased from 1 500 deaths at the end of July to 513 deaths in the past week. This is 55% higher than the number of deaths recorded in the previous week.
According to WHO, more than 80% of the country's cases were recorded in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Western Cape, Eastern Cape and Free State
The organisation said the median age for Covid-19 cases in South Africa is 39 years. A total of 58% of the cases affect female individuals.
“The reason for this higher prevalence among females could be due to females being more represented in certain occupations in education and health sectors, where they may be at greater risk of infection, as well as differences in health-seeking behaviour,” said WHO.
As the rest of the world tries to curb the spread of the virus, moves are being made towards finding a vaccine.
Pfizer and BionTech said a vaccine for Covid-19 could be ready before the end of the year.
This comes after findings from their study, which found the current trial injection to be 90% effective in candidates with Covid-19.
Some remain sceptical as the findings from the study have not yet been peer-reviewed.